KAIST accused of leniency to professor who leaked LIDAR tech to China

The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in Daejeon / Korea Times file

The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) is being criticized for hesitating to take disciplinary action against a professor found guilty of leaking autonomous vehicle technologies to China, according to intellectual property experts, Thursday.In February, the 61-year-old professor surnamed Lee was sentenced to two years in prison for allegedly leaking 72 files, including research data on light detection and ranging (LIDAR) technologies, to a Chinese university between 2017 and 2020. A lower court sentenced him to two years in prison with a three-year suspended sentence in 2021.“Lee did not inform KAIST of financial profits he made from research he had conducted under China’s Thousand Talents Plan,” the appellate court said.The lower court had suspended his sentence, as it saw that the financial profits he made were not large enough. However, the appellate court pointed out that the professor earned 1.5 billion won ($1 million) from China and that he had justified his conduct.

In 2017, the professor was selected to join the Thousand Talents Plan, the Chinese government’s program to hire experts in science and technology from abroad. Although a petition was filed in 2019 to criticize his alleged leakage of LIDAR technologies to China in exchange for billions of won, KAIST did not call his cnduct into a question at the time.The institute only made a public apology and suspended Lee from work, following investigations by the National Intelligence Service and the Ministry of Science and ICT and the prosecution against him. After lawmakers grilled then KAIST President Shin Sung-chul at a National Assembly audit in 2020 over Lee’s alleged tech theft, the institute promised in 2021 to improve its transparency under the leadership of incumbent president, Lee Kwang-hyung.However, KAIST has yet to dismiss the professor in question.“We should wait for the Supreme Court’s ruling in principle,” a KAIST spokeswoman said. “However, we may convene the disciplinary committee in the near future, as it may take too much time for the Supreme Court to make a ruling.”Son Seung-woo, president of the Korea Institute of Intellectual Property, criticized KAIST for being overly cautious about the matter.“Most universities take disciplinary actions against their professors, if they are found guilty by appellate courts,” Son said. “A criminal punishment for breaching research security usually leads to 메이저 dismissal.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *